Meet My New BFF

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I don’t know how I lived without her in my life for so long.  She has made my life so much easier, she is now one of my new best friends.  I would like to introduce everyone to my Instant Pot.  This new addition to my kitchen is a huge time saver at the end of a busy day.  And it gets rid of multiple different kitchen devices if you want to declutter your life a bit.  It is a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker and so much more all in one.  You can even make your own yogurt if that is something you typically like to do.

It cuts my dinner cooking time in more than half.  I can put in frozen meat, some spices and veggies and have a healthy meal cooked up in 30 minutes while I am doing homework with my kids.  I have joined many different Facebook groups that have helped me to obtain a recipe collection for my Instant Pot.  There are tons of recipes on Pinterest and many cookbooks dedicated to this also.  For those living Gluten Free and Paleo I recommend this because for the poultry and meat settings alone it keeps the meats moist.

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Picture Courtesy Of Tempe Chen Sahara

If any of you have the old pressure cooker that always scared the heck out of me when it was used you can finally retire it.  And they even have one that is Bluetooth capable that links to your phone! So Cool!!  I will admit I am still a rookie myself with my Instant Pot but it is so easy to use and Amazon just had a sale on them where they were 50% off.  Just keep an eye out for bargains on these.

I am a member of a Pediatrician Mommy group on Facebook.  We all work long hours and are exhausted after work.  And on this group we are always looking for ways to cut down the dinner prep time but not compromise the health of the meals we offer to our families.  This groups feeds are now overflowing with everyone praising their InstantPots and the meals that have been made.

Healthy living and cooking are something we all have to make the time and effort to commit to.  When I find something that can make this easier for me I like to share it with all of you.   If you have an Instant Pot already share your experiences with it, if you decide to take the plunge and get one let me know what you think.

Live Healthy and Be Well!

#InstantPot #kidstummytroubles

A Guide on Starting a Gluten Free Diet

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When you realize that you need to make the change to Gluten Free it can be very overwhelming.  My patients start to search the internet and they get bombarded with info.  I always try to reassure them and say just start slowly and keep it simple.  I recommend starting by giving them a few reliable sources, such as the Gluten Free Diet Guide for Families provided by CDHNF and NASPGHAN. Look for the key words- wheat, barley or rye in the ingredient list of your packaged foods and in the beginning just stick to whole, unprocessed foods.  This means keep the diet simple initially – eat fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein.

Also a good starting point is to look for the labels on food that state Gluten Free.  There are many quality gluten free options that you can find  in most grocery stores. That being said, realize you may not like the gluten free food the first time you eat it.

More importantly, if you are changing to a gluten free diet due to an illness such as celiac disease, you may feel awful from being sick for a long time. Many people don’t have much of an appetite and have lost weight prior to their diagnosis. They may be suffering from stomach pain and no food tastes really good at this point.  Gluten free food is different. It takes time for your taste buds to change. I still remember the first time I ate gluten free pasta. My kids did not like the taste of it, it is a bit heavier than white pasta.  Start with some of the simple tested and true good gluten free unprocessed food and give yourself time to feel better and time for your taste buds to adjust.

For the first few weeks when you are learning, try some of these easy Gluten Free options.

Breakfast Ideas:

  • Yogurt, Smoothies and Parfaits – Chobani and Stonyfield yogurts are certified GF by the Gluten Intolerant Group. Top with fresh fruit for a great start to your day.
  • Eggs – scrambled, fried, or hard boiled
  • Gluten free cereal – there are several GF cereals.  General Mills and Van’s Cereals have a few Gluten free options.
  • Pocono Cream of Buckwheat – Buckwheat is good for you and naturally sweet.  Top with milk, sugar and cinnamon!
  • Certified Gluten Free Oats – only consume certified GF oats such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats.


Lunch and Dinner Ideas:

  • Any natural unprocessed meat
  • Baked potato
  • A sandwich on Udi Bread – you can go gluten free and still eat your favorite GF sandwich toppings on Udi bread.
  • Lunchmeat – Boar’s Head cold cuts and Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeats. For an easy lunch, roll some lunchmeat and cheese together and stick a toothpick in it.
  • Brown rice and risotto.
  • Nachos – Tostitos tortilla chips with melted cheese on top. Click on the Tostitos link to see a list of Frito Lay products that are gluten free!
  • Peanut butter on some toasted Gluten Free bread or with some Snyder’s of Hanover GF Pretzels.

Snacks:

  • Fruit and vegetables. Do not underestimate the value of fruit and veggies. We eat more of these than anything else.
  • Cheese is a great option for anyone on a gluten free diet. Gluten is not included in the standard ingredients in cheese that include milk, enzymes and sometimes salt. Most processed cheese is also likely though not guaranteed to be gluten free. You might find wheat in the seasoning  and noncaking ingredients used for some shredded cheeses, but anytime wheat is used it must be clearly labeled. I recommend shredding your own cheese if that is how you prefer to eat it.  Also blue cheese is also considered safe for those on a gluten free diet.
  • Chips are not necessarily healthy but many are gluten free. Click this link for Frito Lay Gluten Free List. Eat them with hummus, GF salsa or GF guacamole.
  • Real popcorn. Most microwave popcorn is gluten free but save yourself the worry and time and make your own popcorn.
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Kozy Shack pudding
  • Nuts
  • Kind bars.  My kids favorite GF snack bar!
  • Make your own fresh fruit smoothies as a great snack. (and you can sneak veggies in the smoothies and your kids won’t even notice, I always try to sneak in either carrots or kale to ours at home)

Desserts:

Ice Cream itself is gluten free but may contain products which are made from gluten so avoid ice cream sandwiches, cone products, cookie and ice cream flavors such as Oreo, and flavors which contain brownie pieces, cookie dough and cheese cake etc.

 

Stay Healthy and Be Well. Please share your thoughts and comments.

#GlutenFree #KidsTummyTroubles #Celiac #Glutenfreeliving #GlutenFreeGuide

Strawberry- Banana French Toast Casserole

Breakfast is always a rushed endeavor on weekdays but when I have time on the weekends I love making something that is yummy and doesn’t make me feel bad giving to my kids.  This recipe is a favorite.  It is loaded with strawberries and bananas. You use your favorite bread (this recipe is with gluten free bread) and the almond milk makes it dairy free also.

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Strawberry – Banana French Toast Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

(Adapted from Jeanette Chen’s Jeanette’s Healthy Living.)

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of your favorite gluten free bread, crusts trimmed, cut into cubes
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 6 strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • maple syrup for serving

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a small baking dish or individual ramekins with cooking spray.  Place cubed bread into baking dish or ramekins.
  2. Mix mashed bananas, strawberries, milk, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour mixture over bread cubes and toss gently until bread is evenly coated.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes  or until cooked through.  Top should be golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve with maple syrup.

#KidsTummyTroubles #Glutenfree #Glutendairyfree #Celiac #Recipes

My New Fav- Fair Life Milk

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So I wanted to share with you a new product that we started drinking in our house.  Its called Fairlife milk.  My kids love drinking it and it keeps mommy and daddy happy knowing how transparent they are with their methods of filtration and dairy farming.

Directly from their website they describe their product better than I can. “.. ultra-filtered milk flows through soft filters to concentrate milk’s goodness, like protein and calcium, and filter out the sugars. That allows us to bottle only delicious, nutrient-rich ultra-filtered milk – no protein powders necessary.  Fairlife® is ultra-filtered for more natural protein and calcium that comes directly from our milk. The protein found in milk is an excellent source of energy and vitality to get you through your busy day. Calcium helps keep your bones strong. And with less sugar and no lactose, it’s a fresh source of simple nutrition you can feel good about.”

This product has more protein and less sugar than other milk products and is lactose free.  It has 50% more protein, 30% more calcium and 50% less sugar than ordinary milk, which definitely makes me smile, especially with a picky eater at home any extra nutrition source part of their every day diet is great.   They maintain their cows on dairy farms that pride themselves on finding innovative, sustainable farming practices.  They are using every resource from the farm to put back into the farm, which includes creating a biofuel that is created from the cow “poop” and then convert it into fuel to run their trucks and machinery and so much more.

It makes me happy to pick a product that is doing things the right way.  I hope you give this product a trial and let me know what you think!!

#KidsTummyTroubles #Fairlife #BelieveinBetter

superior-nutrition

 

 

Is it Bedtime Yet?

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Today was only a half day for me at the office.  I always look forward to these days.  I leave work in a rush, barely finishing all my notes so that I can have the afternoon with my girls and also get errands done.  I had a playdate set up to go to the park with my neighbor and her 2 daughters for a bit, then we have to go and pick up presents for the 2 birthday parties we have, go to Verizon to fix my husbands phone, go grocery shopping and promised the girls we would get our nails done.  In retrospect, last night this didn’t seem so overwhelming as it did to me once i was headed home but Whatever……bring on the fun.

Playdate went pretty well, we decided to ride our scooters to the park and the other mommy brought her double stroller for her 2 kids just in case.  Well when my 4 yo saw the stroller she no longer wanted to “scoot” to the park but sit in the stroller.  I refused to let her sit as this was her exercise for the day and her scooter was her b’day present that she hasn’t quite got the hang of yet.  This meant that she was crying and whining the entire way and me rolling the scooter with her on it most of the way.  I am not sure who was being more stubborn, her or me.   They had fun on the playground with only 2-3 meltdowns and then we walked back home alternating sitting in the stroller between the 4 girls.  Not sure if that mommy will want a playdate anytime soon with us again……but task 1 complete.

We go in the house for a snack and to wash up.  Now onto the stores.  Heading to verizon first and grab the clothes to be dry cleaned on the way out the door because I can fit that in also, right???  So when we park the car I realize Lily ( 4 yo) is passed out so I toss her in the stroller, unbuckle the 6 yo and we head into Verizon, where I wait for 15 minutes and then they tell me they dont know whats wrong and can’t help me because I need to call apple for help with the iPhone!!! AGHHH….I leave disgruntled and annoyed but try to brush it off.  The toy store luckily is right next door,  walk around with the 6 yo in heaven bc she just got to play on a whole bunch of phones and now she is in kid paradise.  I pick out the presents after Sophie vetoes the first 4 things I pick because she says, “She is my BFF, I know what she likes and she is not into arts and crafts.”  Seriously?!  Ok she has not seen this girl since school got out but we come to a compromise and they wrap the presents for me, which is why I love this toystore, 1 less thing for me to do.  #LearningExpressToys you rock!!  Go back to car to, load them in the car and onto the drycleaners.  That is a quick pitstop but the little one is still sleeping so I carry her in with me and then we all are back in the car.

Grocery shopping I was dreading but Lily wakes up so that makes it easier.  Up and down every aisle with the kids.  This was actually pretty fun, lots of laughing because my 6 yo decides she wants to talk in a british accent.  We laugh alot and I do notice some grumpy people staring bc we are being loud, but laughing is a whole lot better then crying so I ignore them and push on.  The only things added by the kids not on the list was a Hershey bar for my 4 yo, who has a chocolate problem, we may need to put her in a 5 step program one day to wean her off this chocolate habit; and a bag of breath mints that the 6 yo wanted.  I know, why breath mints but she loves all things mint, her favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip.  Grocery shopping accomplished and I decide we deserve a treat for surviving the grocery store together so we walk next door to Starbucks and we each get a treat…Yay #StarbucksFrapuccino,  Mocha coconut frap is back!!  They get their usual cake pops and Horizon boxed milks.  Again I notice eyes on us while there but these were not so evil, they thought my kids antics were cute.  I mean not bragging but my kids ARE adorable.

We are on our way home and thats when the utter exhaustion kicks in.  Have to still unpack the groceries and deal with the promise of manis/pedis.  Convince the girls it will be so much more fun if we all do our nails at home instead of the salon.  They fall for it…… I look at the time and realize we have almost 3 hours til bedtime. I need my starbucks sugar rush to kick in fast!!

As if this wasn’t enough excitement while unpacking I realize that I am a kid short.  She was in the kitchen with us 2 minutes ago, where did she go??  Look for her on first floor and notice back door open, the dog could have pushed it open but Hmmmm, not sure.   Call her name and no answer on first floor, look in closet and bathroom.  Damn hide and seek!!!  Call her again and tell her “ok come out now mommy is getting worried.”  Sophia says she hears her, and we do ever so faintly hear her voice.  Go back outside, in the basement, in the first floor bathroom, look upstairs but all the doors are still closed, call again and start hearing her louder, not in the 2nd floor bathroom, not in her room.  We finally find her in my bathroom with the doors closed and she is sitting on the toilet.  Her response is “I had to poopy and the downstairs bathroom was stinky”.  My heart rate is slowing down now and have to laugh at this little girl smiling at me sitting on the toilet.   She said I heard you calling but you weren’t answering me back…….you mean thru the two closed doors.  What a day!!  We do nails and finally put a movie on for them while I start dinner.  Thank you Tinkerbell and the Neverbeast for taking care of my children.

All in all not a bad day.  We had fun but why does it always seem so feasible the night before to do all this stuff and how I forget how exhausting it is to do it toting 2 kids with you.  Love my girls and hopefully they will remember these days when we spend time together doing these little things.  It is just as important as all the vacations and fancy trips to Disney.  These are when I get to enjoy how silly and quirky my girls are.  This is when their personalities come out and we have all this LOL moments.

Share some silly things in your days with me that your kids do.

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#KidsTummyTroubles #SillyAntics #Mylifemyloves #Learningexpresstoys